We're head-over-heels for Spring!
|The sun is
out, and the tulips are blooming. We're falling in love with
every tender spear of asparagus and every round-headed artichoke
that we run into. Yes, it's time to break out the sparkling
wine... winter is over!
A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO
has been a while since the last newsletter ~ how has everyone
For those of you who e-mailed me expressing concern and
wondering if you had missed a newsletter, I'd like to apologize
for the long delay. I'm glad to know that there are a lot of you
who actually do look forward to receiving the newsletter;
because of you, I'll do my best to send it out more regularly.
You see, when life gets busy, and you're not sure which of all
the things you're doing really have an impact, you have to start
cutting certain things out to make time for more important
things. It's just that sometimes it's hard to tell which is
which. So thank you for letting me know that we were missed -
knowing that you care will help us get the newsletter done even
when life gets busy.
So here I am, back again, to share some more stories and recipes
that I hope will make your day a little easier and more
It just so happens that the past few months have been packed
with projects - as I've mentioned before, the biggest "project"
of them all is my wedding, which is less than one month away.
Can you say "stress?" But I'm not complaining.
I've been working a lot at
Franciscan Crab Restaurant on Pier 43 1/2; we've been making
more adjustments to the menu and lots of design changes. It
looks "hot," as they say, and I'm happy to report that
Fisherman's Wharf is that much better now, for both locals and
I've also been finishing my second cookbook; this one is called
"CRAB: Cooking, Cracking & Eating" and it should be out
in September. I've included a couple of recipes for you here - I
think they're perfect for spring, and I hope you'll enjoy them.
But all work and no play makes this boy restless, so I've also
been out checking out new restaurants (Perbacco
is so good that I keep going back...), and catching up with
friends. In the picture above, that's me with my good friends
Mario Ascione and his daughter Izzy (Mario owns Cafe Macaroni in
North Beach), and Giovanni (of Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa).
We're in the lobby at Asia de Cuba, goofing off after dinner.
I'll leave you with a few thoughts that I've been having about
relationships. If you've managed to find happiness with another
person, don't start thinking that something or someone else
could be better – embrace what you have; enjoy the person you
are with. Whatever you do, have fun; live in the moment. Love
the experience, with all of its ups and downs, and don’t forget
to say "I love you." The little gestures of affection really do
count - they are always noticed, and they add up from day to
day. The greatest thing that you can do is to love someone else,
every single day, over and over again. Try that, and you'll be
Check out the Web Site!
Taqueria Style Crab Enchilada
This is a recipe I created several years ago, for the Crab
House on Pier 39. Years later, it is still one of my favorites.
In the cookbook, the recipe will be for quesadillas, but I
wanted to share the original recipe with you. It does take a lot
of crab, so it's a "splurge" dish, but believe me: it's worth
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 8-inch flour tortillas
- 24 ounces (1 1/2 pounds) crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- One bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- One 7-ounce can peeled whole green chilies
- One head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cups shredded yellow or white cheddar cheese
- One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the tomatillos for 3 to
4 minutes, or until the skins appear tight and shiny. Remove
from heat. Drain. Place the tomatillos into a blender and blend
on medium speed for about a minute, or until they are smooth,
with few chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix the crab meat with sour cream, half of the green
onions, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.
To assemble the enchiladas, lay the flour tortillas out on a
flat surface with all of your ingredients within close reach.
Spread 1/4 of the crab down the middle of one tortilla; lay one
green chili over the top. Top with 1/4 of the shredded romaine
and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Roll the tortilla into a
burrito. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Place enchiladas into a lightly oiled baking dish, seam side
down. Ladle the tomato sauce over the top of the enchiladas.
Ladle the tomatillo sauce on the sides. Top with remaining
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
Remove from heat. Pipe the rest of the sour cream over the top;
sprinkle with remaining green onions. Serve immediately. Serves
next time you have a lazy weekend morning, pull out this recipe
for a delicious, eggy brunch dish that you can whip up in just a
few minutes. I love to serve this with a bottle of chilled
sparkling wine and a bowl of fresh fruit.
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
- 6 ounces fresh crabmeat
- 1/4 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 cup thin asparagus tips (about 2 inches long)
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Lightly oil a medium (6 or 7-inch) oven-safe skillet, and place
it on the stove over medium-high heat until the surface of the
skillet becomes hot.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk, salt, and
pepper. Pour into the hot skillet and turn heat down to medium.
After one minute, sprinkle the grated cheese, crabmeat, tomatoes
and asparagus over the top. Cook for another couple of minutes,
until the edges just begin to set.
Remove the skillet from the stove and place it in the oven
beneath a pre-heated broiler for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the
cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges of the eggs are firm.
The eggs will keep cooking after you have removed the skillet
from the oven, so the middle should be just slightly underdone.
Remove from the oven and gently slide from the skillet on to a
large plate. Garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
Serves 2 to 4.
What's In Season Now?
For the Special Person in your Life
it's fun and decadent to take a bath with your partner. Other
times, it's even nicer to run a bath for that special someone,
and let him or her relax in private. When they emerge from their
quiet time, they're warm and rested and grateful. And that might
mean that the fun is just beginning!
Recipe for a Blissful Bath
- A tub full of fresh, hot water
- Bath salts or bubble bath in a soothing scent
- Thick, soft towels
- A CD of the bather's favorite music (Billie Holiday is nice in
- Fresh flowers
- A sponge or loofah
- A neck support
- NO interruptions!
To prepare: Arrange the towels in a convenient spot near the
tub. Arrange the flowers, light the candles, and put on the CD.
Place the sponge and neck support next to the tub. Tun the bath
and add the bath salts or bubble bath.
Escort your sweetie into the bath... and then leave. Shut the
door behind you. This isn't about you... yet. That part comes
Yields: one warm, contented sweetheart.
Coming to the Wedding...
My friends Angelo and Lina are from my hometown
in Napoli, where they operate a gorgeous fruit and fine foods
shop. Here's a photo of it, on the left, taken when I was
traveling in Italy last summer. On the right, that's me with
Angelo and a young visitor to Napa.
Angelo & Lina are going to be coming to the wedding, along with
other friends and family from Napoli.
Just for Fun: Nine Important Men in a Woman's Life
1. THE DOCTOR: because he says, "Take your clothes off."
2. THE DENTIST: because he says, "Open wide".
3. THE HAIRDRESSER: because he says, "Do you want it teased or
4. THE MILKMAN: because he says, "Do you want it in the front or
5. THE INTERIOR DECORATOR: because he says, "Once it's in,
you'll love it!".
6. THE STOCK BROKER: because he says, "it will rise right
for a while, and then slowly fall back again."
7. THE BANKER: because he says, "If you take it out too soon,
8. THE HUNTER: (our favorite) because he goes deep in the bush,
shoots twice, and always eats what he shoots.
9. THE TELEPHONE GUY: because he says, "Would you like it on the
table or up against the wall?"
You are receiving this email because you're a fan
of food and romance...You think life is a sensual adventure, and you
hope to nibble and sip your way to bliss. We hope this helps. If you're
hungry for more, head straight to our
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